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WORLD CUP NOTES: SAMPSON QUITS TEAM USA COACHING POSITION

          Steve Sampson quit on Monday as the coach of the U.S.
     national soccer team.  The resignation was announced by U.S.
     Soccer Federation President Alan Rothenberg (AP, 6/29).
          NOTES: In the FINANCIAL TIMES' sponsor index, Nike and
     adidas lead the sponsor race and it "threatens to become a
     two-horse race between the market leaders."  Five of adidas'
     six teams made the second round, while four of Nike's teams
     made it, including Brazil.  Puma started the tournament with
     five teams, but none survived to the second round (FINANCIAL
     TIMES, 6/27)....In N.Y., Jeffrey and Herman Doss, Owners of
     the Soccer Sport Supply Company, say that teams like Brazil,
     Italy and the U.S. "account for most sales" of World Cup
     official jerseys.  Also among the "hottest sellers" are
     Morocco, South Africa and Jamaica (N.Y. TIMES, 6/28)....An
     adidas spokesperson, on charges that its soccer balls were
     made by political prisoners at a Chinese prison camp: "We
     have to be quick.  It can't take us several weeks to figure
     out what happened" (Mult., 6/26)....NEWSWEEK's Rana Dogar
     writes that gives his award for the World Cup's best TV
     commercial to John Woo's Nike "Airport '98" spot (NEWSWEEK,
     7/6 issue)....Thursday's U.S.-Yugoslavia game on ABC drew a
     3.0 overnight rating.  ABC's World Cup average ratings
     through five games -- two on weekday afternoons -- are 2.4, 
     or "about half" of what they were in '94."  ESPN and ESPN2
     numbers are at 0.8, down 47%.  An ABC exec told Leonard
     Shapiro: "It's not unexpected, especially with the U.S. team
     not doing well, but you knew that going in.  We go into this
     with our eyes wide open" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/28).

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